This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade making abortion on demand legal in this country. Many people, including myself, have been posting articles on facebook about the horrors of abortion and the impact it has had on our nation. As vital as the pro-life topic is on a political and scientific level, it is even more important to talk about how there is healing and forgiveness for having an abortion or being influential in someone’s abortion experience. I ought to know because I have experienced both.
I was 22 years old when I fell into sexual sin. I certainly did not seek it out as I was raised in the church and believed that pre-marital sex was wrong, which I still believe today. But, I was naive about men (especially those who didn’t care about the Biblical standard) and I really liked the attention Dave gave me.
I ended up getting pregnant, much to Dave’s dismay but abortion was the furthest thing from my mind. But things got complicated as I told people about it and without divulging details due to privacy concerns, I ended up making the decision to have an abortion at 6 weeks. Once the decision was made, I became numb and detached. I had a few people try and talk me out of it but I wouldn’t listen. What is sad to me is that today those people are pro-choice.
However, even with the numbness, I found the waiting room of the clinic to be very sad. All of those women at varying ages, some alone, some with family members, and some with their boyfriend or husband. I was there with a family member and Dave.
Everyone, including myself tries to pretend that it is no big deal and the clinic staff tries to reenforce that. I was warned briefly of some physical risks but was not warned of the emotional risks. The abortion industry tries to tell women that it isn’t a baby but a clump of tissue. But to be honest, I knew deep in my heart. I knew what I was doing. If most women who have had abortions were honest, they would probably say the same thing. But I don’t know that for sure. There is a level of denial that kicks in and is very powerful.
I felt numb for a long time after this tragic day. But deep down I felt worthless and guilty. This certainly wasn’t how I wanted my life to go. So, in this worthlessness and guilt, I continued on in my lifestyle. I was damaged in my heart of hearts.
It would be years later that I would start to deal with what I had done. Before I could start the healing process I would have to tell someone and actually use the “a” word. That was very difficult. A wonderful counselor helped me open up and then a group called “Conquerors” geared directly for post-abortive women helped me through the rest. I would go on to become a small group leader with them for four years. The stories I encountered of dozens of women were heartbreaking.
Here are some of the things I learned that helped me heal (in no particular order):
- I was not the only one guilty in my abortion. I looked at everyone involved, even if they had a small role. Included in that group was the Supreme Court for legalizing abortion, my boyfriend, the clinic for any lies they might have told me, etc. We looked at it as a pie and divided it up into percentages of responsibility. Of course I had the biggest slice.
- It was important to realize that what I had done was wrong. It is not natural for a mother to end the life of her unborn child. If you deny that it was wrong, then it short circuits the healing process.
- Even though I was ultimately responsible for the abortion, I was allowed to grieve the loss of my child. Conquerors helped me humanize my child and go through the stages of grief as my denial started wearing off…much like Novocaine wearing off after dental surgery. Once it hit it became quite painful and allowing myself to grieve like any mother really helped me through that process.
- It was okay to be angry at what had happened…at myself, at others involved in the whole ordeal, and at the politics surrounding this issue which first legalized abortion and then keeps women in denial by telling them that it is their right.
- But the most important thing I learned was forgiveness. The anger that I was allowed to feel should not remain as it was only poisoning me. I needed to forgive everyone involved and mostly myself. Forgiveness is so misunderstood. It is not saying that what happened was okay or letting anyone off the hook. It is about letting go of bitterness which is like poison running through your veins. It is putting any appropriate vengeance in the hands of God.
- I also needed to seek forgiveness from God. As a believer in Christ, I did not stand condemned before a holy God. Because of Christ’s shed blood for me and my faith in Him, I am righteous before God. But I had rebelled against Him for several years and basically believed that He hated me for what I had done. I needed to restore my walk with Him and unload my burden of grief, anger, anxiety and depression, and regret upon Him so that He could restore my inner being. It wasn’t an easy process but was very worth it.
Even though I am healed, I do have a scar on my heart. Abortion has life-long consequences and cannot be undone. Friends my age are having their first or second grandchild. Abortion is permanent.
I’m so thankful though for a God that heals and who cares about my heart. He cares about you too. If you have had an abortion or abortions, there is forgiveness, there is healing. Seek Him. Cry out to Him.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9
I would be more than happy to talk to anyone privately who needs to talk about this issue. No condemnation here. My beef is with the abortion industry, not the victims of it.